About Professor Pecoraro

Biographical Sketch

Name: Vincent L. Pecoraro

Position Title: John T. Groves Collegiate Professor of Chemistry; Research Scientist, Biophysics Research Division.


Institute Degree Year Field (Advisor)
University of California, Los Angeles CA B.S. Biochemistry 1977 Biochemistry (W.F. Libby)
University of California, Berkeley CA Ph.D. Chemistry 1981 Chemistry (K.N. Raymond)
University of Wisconsin, Madison WI Postdoctoral Researcher 1984 Biochemistry (W.W. Cleland)


Click here to see a family tree of the Pecoraro group.

Professional Experience:

  • Present
    • John T. Groves Collegiate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Senior
    • Research Scientist, Biophysics Research Division, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    • Membership in Institutes and Interdisciplinary Programs (U of M)
    • Center for Molecular Genetics (Exec. Comm., 1987-90),
    • Molecular Biophysics Training Program (PI, 1989-90),
    • Cellular Biotechnology Training Program
    • Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program (Director, 2004-)
    • Chemical Biology Ph.D. Program (Program Committee, 2004-)
    • Blaise Pascal International Chair for Research, University of Paris-11 (2011-12)
  • 1992-2005 Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • 4/1998 Professeur Visité, Université de Paris-Sud (11), Orsay, France
  • 1-8/98 Visiting Professor, Wilhelms Westfalische Universität, Münster, Germany
  • 8-12/97 Visiting Research Scientist, Merck Central Research, Rahway
  • 1989-92 Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 1-6/1991 Visiting Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 1984-9 Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Professional Societies

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow 2001-)
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Society of Biochemists and Molecular Biologists
  • Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
  • Sigma Xi
  • Alpha Chi Sigma (Chemistry Fraternity)

Honors, Award and Fellowships

  • National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow (1981-1984)
  • Horace H. Rackham Foundation Fellow (1985)
  • Eli Lilly Foundation Fellow (1985)
  • G.D. Searle Biomedical Research Scholar (1986-1989)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1989-1990)
  • LS&A Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction (1991)
  • Faculty Recognition Award, University of Michigan (1993)
  • ACS Akron Section Award for Excellence in Chemistry (1995)
  • Frontier’s Lecturer, Texas A & M University (1996)
  • Mary Kapp Lecturer, Virginia Commonwealth University (1997)
  • Karcher Lecturer, University of Oklahoma (1999)
  • PittCon Lecturer, Duquesne University (2004)
  • Alexander Von Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientists (1998-99)
  • Chair, Metals in Biology Gordon Conference (2000)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2000)
  • US Young Investigator for IUPAC Assembly (2001)
  • Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Award in the Sciences (2004-5)
  • Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, University of Michigan (2008)
  • La Chaire Internationale des Recherche Blaise Pascal (2010-2012)
  • Taiwan National Lecturer (2010)
  • ACS Fellow (2010)
  • Vanadis Award (2010)
  • ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (2016)
  • Luigi Sacconi Memorial Lecture, University of Florence, Florence, Italy (2016)
  • Kenneth N. Raymond Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley (2017)

Research Interest

  • Present:
    • Synthetic models for the active site structure and chemical mechanism of manganese enzymes. Biological chemistry of vanadium. Development of the chemistry of Metallacrowns. De Novo metallopeptide design.
  • 8/84
    • The use of cobalt(III) and chromium(III) nucleotides to elucidate the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer in kinases. Stability, structure and metal ion exchange kinetics of M(II) nucleotide phosphorothioates.
  • 8/81
    • Determination of the metal binding residues in transferrin.
      Stability of Fe(III), Ga(III) and In(III) complexes of multidentate
      catecholate chelating agents. Mechanism of iron transport to
      bacteria by siderophores.

Research Group (as in Fall, 2019)

  • 5 Graduate Students, 4 Undegraduate Students, 2 Visiting Scholars

Ph.D. Theses

  • Jacob Lutter, 2018, “Refining Lanthanide Luminescence in Metallacrowns by Systematic Alteration of Hydroxamic Ligands”
  • Catherine Mocny, 2016, “Examining the Metal Selectivity of Thiol Rich de Novo Designed Peptides as a Strategy to Make Asymmetric Alpha-helical Protein Assemblies”
  • Leela Ruckthong, 2016, “Crystallographic Comparison of Tris-Thiolate Sites in Designed Proteins to Control Metal Geometries”
  • Alison Tebo, 2015, “De Novo Design Metallopeptides toInvestigate Metal Ion Homoestasis, Electron Transfer, and Redox Catalysis”
  • Jefferson Plegaria, 2015, “De Novo Design of Copper Metallopeptides Capable of Electron Transfer: From Design to Function”
  • Chun Y Chow, 2015, “Modulating the Single-Molecule Magnet, Magnetocaloric and Luminescent Behavior in Metallacrowns”
  • Fangting Yu, 2014, “De Novo design Cu Nitrite Reductases”
  • Melissa Zastrow, 2013, “De Novo Design Zn Hydrolases”
  • Thadeus Boron, III, 2012, “Metallacrown Molecular Magnets”
  • Joseph Jankolovits, 2012, “Assembly, Solution Thermodynamics and Luminescent Properties of Metallacrowns”
  • Saumen Chakraborty, 2010,  “Structural and Spectroscopic Analysis of Cd binding de novo Designed Peptides”
  • Curtis Schneider, 2008, “Synthetic and Computational Models for Biomimetic Chiral Sulfoxidations”
  • Choongsun Lim, 2008, “Metallacrowns as Hosts”
  • Debdip Ghosh, 2006, “Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Heavy Metal Binding to de Novo Designed Peptides”
  • Curtis Zaleski, 2005, “Characterization of Metallacrowns as Single Molecule Magnets”
  • Joslyn Yudenfreund Kravitz, 2005, “Computational Studies of Vanadium Haloperoxidases” (co-advisor with Prof. H. Carlson)
  • Manolis Matzepetakis, 2004, “De Novo Design of Heavy Metal Binding Proteins”
  • Annabel Van Noord, 2003, “Molecular Recognition by Chiral 15-Metallacrown-5 Metallamacrocycles”
  • Wen-Yuan Hsieh, 2002, “Synthesis and Reactivity of High Valent Manganese Complexes”
  • Tom Smith II, 2001, “Spectroscopic and Reactivity Models for Vanadium Haloperoxidases”
  • Jeffrey J. Bodwin, 2001, “Designing Solids Using Metallacrowns”
  • Aaron Small, 2000, “Test of the Immiscibility Concept for the Induction of Smectic Layering in Nematic Liquid Crystals” (Co-advisor with Prof C. Pugh)
  • Neil Law, 1999, “Models for the Reactivity of Mn di-m2-oxo cores in the Oxygen Evolving Complex”
  • Brent Hamstra, 1997, “Models of Vanadium Haloperoxidases”
  • Ann B. Stemmler, 1996, “Synthetic Strategies for Expanding the Scope of Metallacrowns”
  • Gregg Dieckmann, 1995, “Use of Metal Binding De Novo Designed a-Helical peptides in the Study of Metalloprotein Structures”
  • Andrew Gelasco, 1995 “Low Valent Manganese Complexes as Functional Models for the Mn Catalases and the Alternate Catalase Reaction of the Oxygen Evolving Complex”
  • Brian R. Gibney, 1994 “12-Metallacrown-4: A Structural and Functional Analogue of 12-crown-4”
  • Salman Mustafa Saadeh, 1992 “Manganese Complexes with an All Oxygen Coordination Environment as Models for Mn Ligninase”
  • Erlund John Larson, 1991 “Synthetic Models for the Oxygen Evolving Complex and Manganese Catalase”
  • Myoung Soo Lah, 1990 “Development of Metallacrowns and Preparation of Magnetic Chains”
  • Linda Maxine Briggs, 1990 “Cloning, Expression and Copper Based Regulation of Plastocyanin from Synechocystis 6803″
  • David James Detlefsen, 1990 “Binding and Structural Studies of Modified Electron Transfer Proteins of Bacterial Respiration”
  • Xinhua Li, 1989 “Preparation of Synthetic Models for the Oxygen Evolving Complex and Vanadium Bromperoxidase”